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Carl Gustav Jung
 
Researched and written by:  Ali Jadali
 
I attest that the following biography is a product of my own original work.

Biography
 
I. Childhood/Family Life
      Carl Gustav Jung was born July 26, 1875 in a small village called Kessewil in northern Switzerland which is near the famous Rhine Falls (Wehr, 2000).  His father was Paul Jung, a country parson, and his mother was Emilie Preiswerk Jung.  He was surrounded by a fairly well educated extended family, including quite a few clergymen and some eccentrics as well.  As far as Carl Jung was concerned, his childhood was lonely, isolated, and unhappy.  He was a rather solitary adolescent, who did not care much for school, and especially could not take competition.  His father, a clergyman who had apparently lost his faith, was moody and irritable and his mother suffered from emotional disorders.  Her behavior was off and on where she could instantly change from a loving housewife to an incoherent demon.  Due to the inconsistencies of his mother and father, he never did learn to trust in them, and that behavior extended to the rest of the world.  He turned his unconscious world into his decision making center.  He used his dreams and fantasies to help resolve problems and make decisions (Shultz, 2000).
       Jung attended the University of Basel, Switzerland, and graduated in 1900 with a medical degree.  Upon graduating, he took a position at the Burghoeltzli Mental Hospital in Zurich.  In 1905 he began to teach classes in psychiatry at the University of Zurich, but resigned after several years to devote time to writing, research, and private practice (Wehr, 2000).
II. Adult Life
       In 1903, Jung married Emma Rauschenbach.  He had always been a huge admirer of Sigmund Freud, and in 1907 Jung’s study on schizophrenia led him to close collaboration with him.  The story goes that after they met, Freud canceled all his appointments for the day, and they talked for 13 hours straight.  Jung eventually opened a private practice and traveled with Freud in 1909 to the United States for lectures and meetings. Under Freud’s insistence, Jung became the first president of the International Psychoanalytic Association.  Freud eventually came to see Jung as the crown prince of psychoanalysis and his heir apparent (Wehr, 2000). 
       But Jung had never been entirely sold on Freud’s theory.  In 1909, their relationship began to take a turn for the worse during a trip to America.  They had been entertaining themselves by analyzing each other’s dreams, when Freud started to show resistance to Jung’s efforts to analyze his dreams.  Freud actually fainted twice during these conversations.  Freud went on to say that he had to stop for the fact that he felt he was losing his authority.  This insulted Jung.  The end of his father-son relationship with Freud had a profoundly disturbing effect on Jung.  He withdrew from the psychoanalytic movement and suffered a six-year-long breakdown during which he had fantasies of mighty floods sweeping over northern Europe (possibly visions of what he saw for WWI) (Wehr, 2000).
      When Jung was 38 years old, he was overwhelmed with intense emotional problems that went on for three years.  Interestingly, Freud also experienced emotional difficulties at the same stage in his life.  Jung actually believed that he was going insane and could not get himself to do any intellectual work or even read a scientific book.  He began to contemplate suicide and kept a gun next to his bed “in case he felt he had passed beyond the point of no return.”  He dealt with his emotional problems the same way he did as a child, which was by confronting his unconscious mind (Schultz, 2000)
      World War I was a painful period of self-examination for Jung.  However, it was also the birthplace of one of the most interesting theories of personalities the world has ever seen.  After the war, Jung traveled widely.  His interest in mythology took him to Africa for field expeditions during the 1920’s.  There, he studied cognitive processes of preliterate people.  He was appointed professor at the Federal Polytechnical University in Zurich, and held the job for 10 years until poor health forced him to resign in 1946.  Jung’s first published paper was On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena and he was credited with writing The Psychology of the Unconscious (1912) and Symbols of Transformation (1912).  He began to retreat from public attention after his wife died in 1955.  The couple never had children.  Carl Jung died on June 6, 1961, in Zurich (Schultz, 2000) 
III. Professional Accomplishments
      Jung developed his own theories, which he called ‘analytical psychology’, to distinguish them from Freud’s psychoanalysis and Adler’s individual psychology.  The goal of Jung’s analytical psychology is “true expression” which consists in giving form to whatever is observed.  Its focus is on inner growth instead of social relationships (Stevens, 1996).  Jung believed that we are shaped not only by our past, but also by our hopes, goals, and aspirations (Cox, 1968)
      Carl Jung also delved more deeply into the idea of the unconscious mind.  He added a new dimension, called the collective unconscious, which he explained as the inherited experiences of the human species and their animal ancestors.  Jung discussed two levels of the unconscious mind.  The first one is the personal unconscious, which contains memories, impulses, wishes, and other experiences in a person’s life that have been forgotten.  This level of unconscious is not very deep.  A level below the personal unconscious is the collective unconscious, which is unknown to the person.  It contains all of the experiences of the previous generations, including our animal ancestors.  We are not aware of these experiences or have images of them, unlike the personal unconscious.  Inside the collective unconscious are inherited tendencies called archetypes.  Jung classifies these as inherited tendencies that dispose a person to behave similarly to ancestors who confronted similar situations.  The 4 archetypes that occur most frequently are the persona, the anima and animus, the shadow, and the self.  The persona is the mask that each of us wears that represents us as we want others to see us.  The anima and animus refer to the characteristics that each of us shows of our opposite sex.  Anima refers to feminine characteristics in men and animus refers to masculine characteristics in females.  The shadow archetype is the animalistic part of our personality.  The shadow forces us to do things that we would not ordinarily do.  The self is known to be the most important archetype.  It balances everything in the unconscious and provides the personality with a sense of stability (Shultz, 2000). 
       Jung also concentrated on the introversion and extravert aspects of an individual’s personality.  He stated that the extravert directed his or her energy outside the self to other people and events whereas the introvert is more introspective and resistant to external influences.  He goes on to say that every individual shows both of these attitudes but one will always over power the other (Schultz, 2000). 
Jung’s theories also expressed that personality differences can be expressed through four functions.  Thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting are all ways in which we adjust to the outside external world and the internal world.  Thinking is the process that provides us with meaning and understanding.  Feeling is a subjective process of weighing and valuing.  Sensing is the perception of the visual and intuiting involves unconscious perception (Cox, 1968). 
      Carl Jung was also the founder of the word association test.  Jung would say a word to the patient and ask the individual to say the first word that came to mind.  After a process that involved measuring how long it took for the response and changes in breathing, among other things, there could be a detection of an unconscious emotional response to the stimulus word (Schultz, 2000). 
 

References
 
     Cox, David.  Modern Psychology, the teachings of Carl Gustav Jung. New York, Barnes and Noble, 1968.

     Wehr, Gerhard.  Jung, a Biography. Boston, Random House, 1987.

     Shultz, D.P., Shultz, S.E.  The History of Modern Psychology: Seventh Edition. Harcourt College Publishers, 2000.

    Stevens, Anthony.  Carl Gustav Jung: book review. New Statesman and Society, June 1996. (9), 40-41.
 

 

 

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